*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.
Medieval RPGs typically contain sprawling storylines, a multitude of character customization options and significant elements of choice. While providing immersive and long-lasting experiences, games of this type usually also feature copious amounts of antibiblical content as well. This can be anything from magic to the player-initiated worship of deities.
As a result, Christians and families who appreciate the genre may feel extremely limited. Over time, you may even begin to believe that these games are your only options.
This game is Mount & Blade: Warband.
Mount & Blade: Warband is an open-world role-playing game set in the fictional, semi-realistic medieval land of Calradia. This means you’ll duel enemies with swords, shields and crossbows–not magical abilities.
A look at the options menu shows that you can determine how much you are damaged in combat, the amount of damage your companions can receive, etc.
This level of adjustment is dearly needed, as Mount & Blade: Warband is one of the most open-ended RPGs available.
You’ll begin by choosing your character’s background, appearance and starting skills/weapon proficiencies.
You then choose what region of Calradia to start your adventure in. Shortly afterward, a thief ambushes you in an alleyway.
Combat is easily understood, yet difficult to master. Swipe your mouse in one of the four directions (up, down, left or right) to attack while giving orders to your troops with F1-F3 and the numeric keys…
Directional blocking is performed (by default) automatically with a click of the right mouse button. However, I would highly recommend turning that setting off–the learning curve associated with attacking and defending manually is well worth the results.
After your encounter with the thief in the alleyway, you are given the choice to take an introductory quest.
Whether you accept this quest or not, you are set…free.
Free to roam Calradia in search of adventure, profit or power…
Free to enter towns and villages–interacting with their people, finding information and recruiting special characters (with their own histories) to your party…
Free to participate in a number of side activities, including competing in rough brawls in the arena or grand tournaments to win honor and fame…
Intra-factional power struggles, wars, truces and marriages occur all the time–for the most part, without your involvement. The fact that this world clearly does not revolve around you makes it feel truly alive, and this feeling only intensifies when attempting to become King or Queen.
There are so many things going on and so many ways to accomplish objectives that a new player can easily be confused–even after going through the tutorial. For this reason, I’d recommend keeping the manual and user forums close at hand.
Online multiplayer is available, allowing you to battle with up to 200+ players around the world at a single time in a variety of modes including Siege, Team Deathmatch, etc.
Two official expansions for Mount & Blade: Warband have been released. Napoleonic Wars focuses on adding to the multiplayer portion of the game with firearms and an authentic 19th century setting. Meanwhile, the Viking Conquest expansion is single-player focused and includes a full campaign based off of the popular “Brytenwalda” mod.
Arguably more exciting are the numerous free, community-made modifications that transform the game. Below is the trailer for Napoleonic-era mod, L’Aigle. This player-made expansion has been in development for the past three years and is releasing December 31st, 2014.
I am not saying Mount & Blade is without fault. Female characters entering the arena are inexplicably clad only in their underwear. Even with community enhancements, the graphics are fairly antiquated.
However, in Mount & Blade: Warband I finally see an RPG I can play as a Christian without a serious weight on my conscience.
If that isn’t worth supporting, I don’t know what is.
Mount & Blade: Warband is not only an incredible alternative to typical fantasy-RPGs, but a more open-ended and expandable game overall. In less than a day, it has become my Game of the Year.
Mount & Blade: Warband can currently be purchased at an 80% discount ($3.99 USD) for the Steam Holiday Sale. A demo is also available on the site.
When the armor is removed from female companions or the player (as a female character) enters the arena, they are depicted wearing only bras and panties.
Blood is present, but can be turned off:
It is possible to court and marry a lady (or even elope with her). However, no sexual activity is depicted.
References are also made to the superstitious beliefs of some of the diverse cultures inhabiting Calradia (including a companion mumbling a prayer of thanks to his god over the dead of a battle).
It is possible for the player to commit crimes such as raiding caravans, assassination, and slave trading. Achievements are granted for some of these activities:
Buy Now! (Steam)
Original Game (Steam)